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The team has a critical role not just in delivering essential health and care services, but also in sustaining resilience and protecting workforce wellbeing. Mental wellbeing in threatening situations is supported by the resilience that comes from social and peer support. The connections between team members are, therefore, an essential component in our response to COVID-19 in protecting individuals’ physical and mental health both in the immediate and long term. It is vital that within teams in Health and Social Care – whether newly formed or familiar – that meaningful team engagement and participation is enabled.
No matter how short a time, building rapid team reviews into daily team routines – virtual or in person – provides dedicated, predictable space allowing team members to learn together, support each other, understand the team’s shared values, celebrate success and reflect on their experiences shared. According to the Kings Fund, time spent on the above reaps a 35% improvement in wellbeing.
There can be confusion between the language and function of professional or performance debriefs, which are recommended, and Psychological Debriefing, which is not. This paper clarifies the difference and recommends Psychological First Aid.
Professional debriefs are an opportunity to discuss both teamwork (communication, cooperation and coordination) and taskwork (technical aspects of the job). They can focus on what went well (continue doing this) as well as what could be done differently in the future.
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